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Bookshop's Favorite Graphic Novels for Kids

Whether your kid is a reluctant or a voracious reader, graphic novels are a perfect fit! Get ready for a visual feast with this collection of Bookshop Santa Cruz's favorite graphic novels for kids. They feature stunning artwork and engaging stories that will keep kids entertained for hours. From superheroes to everyday heroes, these graphic novels feature a diverse range of characters and themes that kids can relate to. These are a great way to introduce your child to the exciting world of graphic novels!

Enlighten Me Written by Minh Lê, Illustrated by Chan Chau

Enlighten Me is a story about one kid’s experience with discrimination and bullying as well as a concise encapsulation of some of the central stories of the Buddha. Writer Minh Lê vividly captures the internal monologue of a boy struggling with some deep existential woes, and artist Chan Chau illustrates Bình’s development through excellent and expressive framing. This book is perfect for a kid who is curious about mindfulness, meditation, and the basics of Buddhism.  —ISAAC

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Enlighten Me (A Graphic Novel) By Minh Lê, Chan Chau (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Minh Lê, Chan Chau (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780759555488
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Ink - September 19th, 2023

Atana and the Firebird (Book 1) by Vivian Zhou

Atana has never left her island, as the world isn’t safe for merfolk like her. But after Ren, a firebird, flies over her home, the two embark on a journey to explore Earth together. Arriving on another island ruled by a powerful Witch Queen, Atana and Ren uncover more about their pasts and fight to keep each other safe. As the first part of duology, this graphic novel is terrific for fans of Studio Ghibli movies and Avatar: The Last Airbender.  —ANDREA

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Atana and the Firebird By Vivian Zhou, Vivian Zhou (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Vivian Zhou, Vivian Zhou (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780063075917
Availability: Not Yet Published - Available for Pre-Order; Please See Publication Date Below Before Ordering
Published: HarperAlley - November 7th, 2023

Mexikid by Pedro Martín

When a Mexikid (a kid born in the US to Mexican parents) goes on a family trip to Mexico in the 1970s to bring his abuelito back home to Watsonville, California, hilarity ensues. This fun but sensitive journey for a very large, close-knit family is full of border crossings, fireworks, chilaquiles, primos, mariachis, and stories of the Mexican Revolution. Pedro Martin’s graphic memoir is about family history, identity, and “finding your grito.”—Noreen

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Mexikid By Pedro Martín, Pedro Martín (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Pedro Martín, Pedro Martín (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780593462294
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - August 1st, 2023

Things in the Basement by Ben Hatke

Milo gets sent down into his family’s new basement to retrieve a missing sock, but the basement is much deeper and stranger than he could’ve imagined. Lurking in the dark is a creature bent on foiling Milo’s quest. As always, Hatke (of Mighty Jack fame) creates vivid artwork. Filled with twists, turns, and a lot of heart, this story is sure to satisfy newer graphic novel initiates’ thirst for horror without being scary enough to need the nightlight. —Ivy

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Things in the Basement By Ben Hatke Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250909541
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - August 29th, 2023

Ghost Book by Remy Lai

When July Chen, a twelve-year-old girl who can see ghosts, rescues William Xiao, the two kids learn that their pasts are eerily connected. Years ago, one of them wasn’t supposed to survive and now otherworldly beings are trying to restore that imbalance. Remy Lai brings a light-hearted goofiness to a spooky subject with this story of friendship and the power of being remembered. Great for kids who like ghost stories, but don’t want anything too scary.—Alana

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Ghost Book By Remy Lai Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250810434
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks - August 15th, 2023

Hellaween by Moss Lawton

Magic lights up the night as both skateboards and broomsticks race toward movies and malls. In this graphic novel, monsters and friendship go hand-in-hand, leaving us to question what’s scarier—nearly being killed or just being ignored? Moss Lawton’s sharp work on shows like Invader Zim and Monster High is wonderfully evident in both story and art in this fun/ny entry into the spooky teen genre, proving (as so many of us know) that Halloween is the best season. —Jocelyn

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Hellaween By Moss Lawton Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593524282
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - August 8th, 2023

When Stars Are Scattered written by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed

An unforgettable true story of two Somali brothers living in a refugee camp in Kenya. Separated from their mother, Omar tries to find hope through education. He also cares for his younger brother who has a seizure disorder and can't speak. Through hope, love and resilience, the author paints a powerful picture of refugee life. — Noreen

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When Stars Are Scattered By Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson (Illustrator), Iman Geddy (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson (Illustrator), Iman Geddy (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780525553908
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - April 14th, 2020

The Accursed Vampire by Madeline McGrane

Drago, a kid vampire, has been living a life of bliss alongside their two friends—until their old master returns and asks them to find her spellbook or they'll be turned into worms! Throughout the graphic novel we get glimpses of each of the character's origin stories intertwined with their thrilling adventures in search of the book. Perfect for fans of humorous graphic novels with spooky elements and the power of friendship.

—Andrea C.

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The Accursed Vampire By Madeline McGrane, Madeline McGrane (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062954343
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - July 27th, 2021

Mamo by Sas Milledge

Mamo weaves together magic, nature, grief, romance, adventure, and complex family relationships all in one beautiful story. It follows Orla, a witch who must return home after her grandmother passes, and Jo, who quickly bond with Orla after enlisting her help. This book captures all the magic of a Studio Ghibli film with its own unique style. I immediately fell in love with it! 


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Mamo By Sas Milledge Cover Image
ISBN: 9781684158171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOOM! Box - April 19th, 2022

Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan by Jason Shiga

Shiga's newest offering to the comics world, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style medieval fantasy graphic novel, allows for hours of absorbing fun as the reader navigates puzzles, mazes, and clever design to defeat the legendary Leviathan. Shiga has created a panacea for all those harried parents of video-game addicted children. This comic plays just like an RPG and is bound to feel as satisfying when completed. — Yves

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Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan (Book 1) By Jason Shiga Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419757792
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amulet Books - September 13th, 2022


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